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George GERSHWIN (1898-1937)
Gershwin For Trumpet: arrangements for trumpet and piano

But Not for Me
They Canít Take That Away From Me

The Man I Love

How Long Has This Been Going On?

Embraceable You
A Foggy Day

It Ainít Necessarily So
Love is Here to Stay
By Strauss
But Not for Me

Juraj Bartos (trumpet)
Peter Breiner (piano)
Recorded Glenn Gould Studio, C.B.C., Toronto, June 1996
NAXOS 8.554302 [50.15]

 

Paul Breiner, pianist, composer (pupil of Alexander Moyzes in Bratislava) and also arranger is featured on Naxos with his Songs and Dances from the Silk Road, coupled with The Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto. Here he joins with Juraj Bartos to form an all-Slovak duo in these straight-ahead jazz performances of Gershwin standards. The style is broadly contemporary-mainstream (there probably isnít such a category in the notoriously schematic jazz camp but there is now). Classically trained though they are, both show strong - if diluted - jazz affinities, and lavish considerable care over texture and colour.

That said Iím not sure what the Girl from Ipanema is doing introducing But Not for Me except itís the kind of thing jazz musicians are prone to do (these two do it less than most). Juraj has a big tone, fine technique, plenty of ideas but can be a bit showy and is often inclined to play too many notes. Still he does use a wa-wa mute on They Canít Take That Away From Me, digging in deep, with Breiner opening with some Garner-ish obscurities and big-spaced chording. I wish the trumpeter hadnít showboated with quite so many strained high notes Ė it sounds conservatoire-fake to me. Breiner interjects some Bachian moments Ė try The Man I Love Ė and Bartos some bluesy ones on A Foggy Day. The trumpet-piano duo is a difficult one in jazz but the arrangements are generally well worked out and whilst the styles covered Ė vamp, gospel, blues, cocktail lounge, bop and straight ahead Ė might suggest musical kleptomania in fact they work out alright.

Jonathan Woolf

see also review by Patrick Gary



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